Sunday, November 11, 2012

Post-Quake Christchurch, New Zealand ...

Well what can I say ... it's been a long break (not a surf joke) from this blog. I have returned from travelling overseas and am once again living in Christchurch, earthquake city of the New Zealand. Man, the landscape has changed significantly. Central Christchurch is destroyed, roads are munted and houses and buildings are being pulled down everywhere.

And in case you are interested I think I still hold the trophy of being the world's worst surfer. I am struggling to stand up on my short board which sucks. Recently, I have been out to South Beach, New Brighton, North Beach and Waimairi Beach for a few sessions. These beaches are all very close to one another.

With summer approaching the water has warmed slightly and there have been some great conditions. Today, Sunday 11 November, 2012, was brilliant. There were a lot of  experienced surfers out and about. I sneaked to a more quiet part of South New Brighton - out of the public eye. I can't wait to get my longboard out of storage and give surfing a proper go again.

Although, not a lot of media attention has been paid to beaches and the coast line post earthquake, it is amazing how all beaches have significantly changed. Shorelines are much smaller now. It does illustrate how important the sand dunes are. It is cool to see the North Beach Surf Club has been painted and is looking in good shape. It is great to see that people care. Sadly, the New Brighton shops don't look so good - the area is very depressed. There is still a pretty good community vibe with some exciting temporary projects happening. I hope local and national governments will assist in revitalising this part of Christchurch.

Well, more posts to come. Just wanted to say I am pleased to be back in Christchurch waters and the City in general despite many people asking why I returned. My goal this summer is to become a far better surfer. Even getting my wetsuit to do up has been a recent challenge .... haha (I may need to lose a few kilos too)

Well happy surfing everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Wave by Maggi Hambling

This weekend I headed from London to Cambridge for a day trip. While there, I checked out the Fitzwilliam Museum. It turned out there was an exhibition on called The Wave by artist Maggi Hambling. On show was a group of large scale paintings depicting the power and energy of the North Sea.

The brochure states the exhibition 'reveals the artist’s long standing fascination with the elemental character of the sea off the Suffolk Coast. Among her most ambitious in scale, these evocative and sensual portraits of the wave demonstrate Hambling’s increasingly bold way of working, confronting, the viewer with all the power, grandeur and beauty of the sea.'

I love the fact that everyone has their own thoughts and feelings of the seas behaviour. Surfers learn to respect waves particularly when learning. It is important to know your limit and not to mess with large ferocious breaks that are clearly beyond your level.

Seeing and hearing waves crashing or gently lapping, people can decide whether they think the sea is angry or calm. Human behaviour is very much like the sea in we also have wild and calm days. But, there is no better way to relax than a great surfing session.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Artificial reefs

Reading the paper on the tube last week I was disappointed to see an article on Europe’s first artificial reef, built in Dorset, is not performing as well as was hoped. I was fascinated to read the reef was built by a New Zealand company. While there has been negative feedback, visitor numbers and house prices have rocketed in the Dorset area. There are moves to try to improve the reef.

Reading the story did make me wonder if we should be tampering with nature. Shouldn’t we accept the world’s breaks that have developed naturally? Although, I can see there would be a strong argument for the building of reefs with minimal environmental damage. I support the
move of encouraging world governments to protect natural surf breaks, particularly when we see adventure tourism and seaside developments continuing to be developed. If you are interesting in the artificial reef check out the story yourself.

Happy surfing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Surfing in Britain

It has been a cracker of a weekend here in London. It has been bliss in the warm, all day sunshine. Let’s hope it will be one of the hottest summer’s ever recorded as has been forecast.

It was awesome to pick up a free copy of TNT magazine at a tube station and to see the cover story was on surfing in Britain. Check out Catching Waves, Hit The Surf in Britain. It is a really well written story with helpful advice on where and when to go surfing.

I envy those who have close access to the beach.

Happy surfing!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kiwi conquers Tahiti’s Teahupo'o!

Checking news from back home in New Zealand I saw Doug Young and Sam Hawke surfed Tahiti’s Teahupo'o, one of the biggest, dangerous breaks in the world. How awesome to conquer that on St Patrick’s Day!

Check out Young and Hawke's great tale, that screened on TVNZ, and how Sam 'commandeered' his mum’s car to get him and his mate to the airport to get the only plane to Tahiti. The image for this post was snapped by Josh Humbert and taken from

Woohoo, go Kiwis!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surf sounds

Did the best surf music come out of the groovy 60s?, the generation of drug, sex and rock n roll. Everything did seem so much more cruisy then! Messing around on YouTube I found this old surfing music play list. It’s pretty cool, particularly if you are a fan of the Beach Boys. Their music certainly reflected the 60s southern Californian culture. This was another old school play list which has some good tunes. There are some real retro videos.

Pushing forward a few decades, I found this modern ‘new school’ mix which also has some great songs and videos. Modern surfing music does still have a unique sound which can be a mash up with other genres like rock, reggae and even easy listening. This list of surf musicians taken from Wikipedia might interest you.

Anyway, enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wipe outs

Hello from the United Kingdom! After two long flights I finally made it to old London town.

I had to laugh when I looked at my blog on arrival to see I had been ripped off by another blogger. I don’t care if my blog does suck. It is mine so I can do what I want. I think that dude needs to chill out. I don’t care that I am a bad surfer. I admit I am not great but at least I give it a go.

Anyway, to get over my jet lag I have been checking out some wipe out videos on YouTube.

I liked Jaws Wipeout as the sound is awesome even if it has been added later. It is a pretty big wave.

I also liked the following video courtesy of Deep Water Film. You do wonder what the consequence of this high speed wipe out was.

In Surviving A Big Wipe Out video by Disovery Earth, big wave surfer Garrett “G-Mac” McNamara claims he enjoys wiping out on giant waves in deep water. That is just crazy! He talks about arms being only held on by the skin after a wipe out …. haha, madness.

Finally the Style Evolution Wipeout Project video captures old wipe outs. No doubt these will long continue into the future.

Happy surfing everyone! Enjoy those waves.